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A new delivery system of clobetasol-17-propionate (lipid-loaded microspheres 0.025%) compared with a conventional formulation (lipophilic ointment in a hydrophilic phase 0.025%) in topical treatment of atrophic/erosive oral lichen planus. A Phase IV, randomized, observer-blinded, parallel group clinical trial.

Author(s): Campisi G, Giandalia G, De Caro V, Di Liberto C, Arico P, Giannola LI

Affiliation(s): Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy. giucampisi@inwind.it

Publication date & source: 2004-05, Br J Dermatol., 150(5):984-90.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Clinical Trial, Phase IV; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Topical application of clobetasol-17-propionate has been diffusely reported as an efficacious therapy in atrophic/erosive oral lichen planus (OLP), without exposing the patient to systemic side-effects. However, prolonged contact and respective topical effects on the oral mucosa should be avoided. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to evaluate efficacy and compliance of new lipid microspheres loaded with 0.025% of clobetasol propionate (formulation A) compared with a commonly used formulation (a sort of dispersion of a lipophilic ointment in a hydrophilic phase) with the same amount of drug (formulation B) in the topical treatment of OLP. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty patients with symptomatic OLP were enrolled in a controlled single-blind phase IV clinical trial. After a dropout of five patients, a total of 45 patients [12 males and 33 females; mean age 61.1 years (+/- 12.3 SD; range 25-82)] were treated (17 with formulation A and 28 with formulation B, matched for gender and age; P > 0.2) with the same dosage regimen. At times T0, T1 and T2 we evaluated the following parameters: (i) pain score (by linear visual analogue scale; 0-100); (ii) clinical score; (iii) clinical resolution; and (iv) patient compliance. Statistical analysis was calculated using S-Plus 4.0 and SPSS 9.0 (Student's t-test, chi(2), Kolmogorov-Smirnow, Friedman, Student-Newman-Keuls, Mann-Whitney U-test and Spearman tests). RESULTS: Both formulations were found to be similar for parameters ii, iii and iv, although with a better general trend for formulation A; a significant difference was registered for formulation A in terms of a reduction in painful symptoms (parameter i) at time T2 (P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the new topical drug delivery system (formulation A) may enhance, at least in terms of symptom remission and compliance, the effectiveness of clobetasol propionate at a dose of 0.025% in OLP therapy.

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